Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow (Tendonitis)
Tendonitis of the outside portion of your elbow, lateral epicondylitis, is an injury to the tendons and muscles of the back of your arm due to repetitive use of those muscles. These muscles are known as your gripping muscles and generate the strength and power of your hand.
They are most commonly injured during activities dealing with heavy gripping or use of the hand such as golf, tennis, swinging a hammer, or typing.
Pain is usually dull/achy at rest and sharp with activities involving the hand.
A compressive tennis elbow brace will reduce pain with activity but will not cause the route cause of the issue.
Treatment involves reducing inflammation, stretching, and strengthening of the muscles of the top of the forearm.
Bursas are fluid filled sacs located throughout the body and are responsible for providing lubrication between muscles and skin. Typically through impact or repetitive movements, a bursa will become inflamed and will be very tender to the touch.
Bursitis tends to be characterized as pinpoint pain that is dull or achy at rest and sharp during aggravating movements or when there is pressure over the bursa.
Bursitis responds well to manual techniques and application of modalities as well as fixing movement faults to reduce the overall amount of stress placed on the inflamed bursa. Bursitis also tends to respond well to passive treatments such as corticosteroids shots to reduce inflammation in conjunction with active treatments.
Osteoarthritis of the elbow occurs when the cartilage surface of the elbow is worn out or is damaged. This can happen because of a previous injury such as elbow dislocation or fracture. Most commonly, however, it is the result of a normal wearing away of the joint cartilage from age and activity.
As osteoarthritis is progressing, therapy to improve strength and mobility of the joint is important to maintain proper stability and lubrication of the joint.
Exercise has been shown to reduce pain caused by osteoarthritis. Injections to reduce pain are also shown to be effective in the short term.
A fracture of one of the two bones of the forearm, the radius and ulna, are common in children and adolescents and anyone involved in sports-like activities.
A fracture, whether surgery is involved or not, typically requires a 6-week healing period in which the area may be casted or braced. Muscle wasting and muscle atrophy as well as stiffness of the wrist and elbow joints is common following this 6-week period.
Physical therapy is important to improve overall elbow pain, forearm pain, and wrist pain and to return these joints to normal mobility and strength.
Nursemaid’s elbow is a common elbow injury, especially among young children and toddlers. It occurs when a child’s elbow is pulled and one of the bones partially dislocates, giving it another name, “pulled elbow.” Your doctor may refer to it as a radial head subluxation.
Nursemaid’s elbow results in instability of the elbow joint which is a very stable joint. Following a period of bracing to regain stability, therapy services may be required to regain normal function and normal strength of the joint depending on the severity of the dislocation.
How Chiropractic Can Help Your Elbow Pain
A Chiropractor is expertly trained to assess and diagnose disorders of the body’s structure, nerves, and muscles. After a full evaluation, the Chiropractor can make a diagnosis based upon the outcome of the evaluation and determine whether nerve impingement may be the root cause of elbow dysfunction.
Spinal manipulations for the neck has been successful in treating radiating pain or pain that travels into to the arm. Also, by decreasing pressure on the nerve roots that come from the spine and through the vertebrae, increases muscle function, strength, and tone; increasing overall health in the arm.
An article published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics:
“In this study, patients that had outside elbow pain had a significant decrease in measurable pain to touch with their neck adjusted (cervical manipulation) … This study is showing that if there is a restriction at the neck this can affect the nerves entering from the elbow and by removing that restriction (and irritation to the nerve where it enters) that you can have decreased pain at the elbow.”
Other treatments such as myofascial release or manual therapy, adjustment of the joint of the elbow, and strengthening for the muscles that support the elbow have also been effective in the treatment of elbow pain.
According to a case study Combination of manipulation, exercise, and physical therapy for the treatment of a 57-year-old woman with lateral epicondylitis:
“In the 10-week protocol, we used high-velocity and low-amplitude manipulation, high-voltage pulsed galvanic stimulation, a hard-padded elbow brace, ice, and exercise, along with restricted use of the affected elbow…Overall, there was a systematic reduction of pain (92.86%), specific activity (100%), and usual activity (96.87%), and even after 3 weeks of follow-up…”
If you’re currently experiencing elbow pain, MyChiroiQ Chiropractic welcomes you for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Ross to determine if chiropractic care is right for you. After an examination, he can provide an individualized approach to the root of the problem.